Encouragement

In a season of uncertainty, we look for something solid to cling to. Deuteronomy 32:4 reminds us: “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” As our church family enters a season of testing let’s be mindful of the character and goodness of our God. While it seems that the “new normal” changes daily and sometimes hourly due to COVID-19, we find great comfort in the perfect work of our faithful God.

Realities
The unprecedented situation we are facing is fluid. In order to help limit the spread of COVID-19, state and federal government made a recommendation last week to engage in “social distancing” (defined by the Center for Disease Control as “remaining out of congregate settings and avoiding mass gatherings”). The state of Nebraska, led by the governor, has chosen to follow the guidelines of the CDC. On Thursday, those guidelines limited gatherings to under 250. On Sunday, that number dropped to under 50 for an eight-week time span. On Monday, that number dropped further to limit gatherings to ten and under for two weeks. The governor clarified that in a best-case scenario in Omaha, after two weeks, the limit would be changed from ten to 50 for an additional six weeks.

The elders are agreed: 
  • The most vulnerable among us (those 60+ and those with compromised immune systems) are high risk should they be infected with coronavirus.
  • God designed government for the purpose of protecting its citizens; the guidelines set forth by the CDC and adopted by our governor are not unreasonable in the current situation in order to protect the citizens of Nebraska and the United States.
  • The law of Christ instructs us to love our neighbor (Luke 10:27) and to submit to governmental authorities (Rom. 13:1).

Response:
For these reasons, we have unanimously agreed that the following response is most honoring to Christ in our current situation:
  
  • All on-site and off-site Sunday and weekday Crosspoint events have been canceled for up to an eight-week period until May 17. The elders will reevaluate regularly based upon information from local and state officials.
  • While we do not believe the in-person gathering of the local church for corporate worship can be replaced by any digital option, we still believe there is significant value in providing spiritual encouragement for individuals and families via video on Sundays during these eight weeks. These videos will be accessible on Crosspoint’s private Facebook group, our website, and the app.
  • The Crosspoint facility will be closed to non-staff during these eight weeks. Staff have the option to work from home.

Off-site Gatherings
These steps mean it will take more intentionality to stay connected to community. Remember, we are still a spiritual family even if we don’t have the joy of seeing each other face to face on Sunday mornings. Individuals and small groups are free to interact in small groups off-site at their discre­tion, following the parameters of state and local civil authority guidance (ten people or less), using wisdom and creativity to do so. You have freedom to choose to not meet if that’s best for you or your group, taking into consideration demographic, age, group size, etc. Consider using email, group texts, FaceTime, phone calls, social media or whatever else to keep in contact with one another.
 
Moving Forward:

For several weeks, we have been given an opportunity by God to reconsider what it means to be the church, rather than remain comfortable by attending a church service. While we look forward with excitement to the day we can gather again together on Sunday mornings as a family, allow the longing for that day to motivate you towards the following action steps:
  
  • Pray: Regularly set aside a time for intentional prayer. Pray for wisdom for the elders of Crosspoint and other Bible-preaching churches in our area. Pray for protection for our church family, the elderly, and the immune-compromised. Pray for our health-care workers around the country. Pray for protection for our community during this season. Pray for our governmental leaders. Pray for those around the world suffering with the illness.
  • Walk by faith: We have the opportunity to demonstrate the peace of God and the confidence for the future in the midst of a culture that has quickly been depleted of peace and confidence. While some hoard, we are freed to share resources as God allows. While some panic, we are freed to care for others with grace and wisdom. While some respond in fear, we respond with faith in our God.

    • If you know someone in the family facing financial hardship, or if you yourself are facing financial hardship, please email office@crosspointbible.org. We have a benevolence fund and a process in place to help those within the church family as needs arise. However, we are unable to help if we are not aware.
    • If you are in need of pastoral care during this time, please communicate with the office by email or phone, rather than stopping by the church facility. Our administrative assistant will get you connected to one of the pastors or elders.
  • Give: Due to the nature of infectious diseases like this, there is an increased likelihood that some in our church family will be impacted financially in the coming days. That means as a church family we will have opportunity to “one-another” in multiple ways, including through the sharing of resources. Please continue to support the work of your local church through the giving options found here (http://crosspointbible.org/give).
  • “One-another” others: In the coming days we will post ideas about how to stay connected. In the meantime, perhaps dig into that stuck drawer to find the package of blank notecards (come to think of it, it may be in that shoebox in the closet), and start writing notes of encouragement to whomever the Lord brings to mind.
  • Stay Connected: Be intentional about reading communication from your Crosspoint family.
 
While we are undoubtedly facing an obstacle we have never had to face before, there are also opportunities facing us that are God-ordained. It is my prayer as one of your pastors that we would be more connected as a community and as a family after this trial than we were before it. God can accomplish that by his grace! But God uses means; we will each need to take stock of what we can do to continue to unite around the gospel of Jesus Christ even though we cannot unite in person. Pray about whom God would have you come alongside of during this time to encourage spiritually and to pray for intentionally. Let’s corporately ask God that no one would fall through the cracks as we continue to grow together in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.